I sometimes get surprised looks when people learn that I’m a naturopath AND I still eat chocolate, drink wine and coffee and love nothing more than delving into Italian cookbooks. The thing is, therapeutic diets have their place. Sometimes when the body has been struggling and things are beginning to fall apart, bringing food back to simple basics is a powerful move. It allows the body to settle on neutral ground and from there recalibrate. But (thankfully!) it’s not a forever game.
In practice, I’ve started to replace the phrase “creating an eating plan” with “nourishment design”, with client’s being firmly in the visoneering seat at the head of the table. I’d love to share with you some principles that will help you vision up your nourishment and ways to help align your kitchen so that it is serving you.
1. Remember your magic and how you want to feel
Your intentions bring energy to every single thing you do. It is the secret healing ingredient in every meal. If it’s your intention to nourish yourself – to help your body heal, feel calm, glowing, brilliant, light (whatever it may be), then the food you purchase, the meals you prepare and the way you eat will all reflect the intention you put into it.
A good friend of mine, Sarah Cowell is a tea sommelier and she once told me “that 80% of the teapot contains the leaves and water, the remaining 20% is up to you to decide”. It has always stuck with me. So infuse all that love and those intentions over your morning smoothie, your favorite cup of tea or warm pot of dahl.
2. Kitchen alignment
Your kitchen is the nourishing center of your home. The hearth. If your kitchen feels depleted, cluttered, overburdened with foods you know you don’t want to eat (or foods that are not serving you) then a little alignment is in order. Go one by one through your pantry, fridge, and freezer – lay it all out, and pick up each item and ask yourself “does this make me feel nourished or not?” Or “does this make me feel [insert your intentions here] or not?”. It’s a divine and very simple organising principle.
With your leftovers, you can contact a community food program in your local area to make a direct donation. Then whilst you’re at it, do some organising so all those healing ingredients are easily within reach and look beautiful. It’s amazing what decanting your spices, legumes, grains etc. into glass jars can do for kitchen creativity. It’s also nice to pick 3-5 cooking books that you love and have a place for them in the kitchen so inspiration is never far away.
3. Set yourself up for success
Doing a few simple things at the beginning of the week can make a HUGE difference. For example, when you come home from the shops or market on Sunday morning, instead of popping everything into the fridge straight away, put on your favorite tunes or a podcast and prep your veggies. Wash, de-vein kale, chop carrots, potatoes, and broccoli, mince garlic, dice onions, top and tail beans etc. Store in containers and when it comes to during the week, whipping up nourishing breakfasts and dinner is a cinch.
4. Where are the herbs and spices at?
Ask yourself this question when making anything. Can you find a way to sneak herbs into your meals? I often say that 90% of the benefits of herbs are to be experienced by weaving them through your day. Bliss balls, pestos, bone broths, herbal teas and herbal coffees are all ideas. Turmeric and cardamon pods added to rice, ginger slices to your tea or playing with herb salts is a lot of fun too.
5. Make it hygge
I’ve been very inspired by the concept of ‘hygge’ lately. It’s a philosophy that comes from my ancestral land, Denmark and I’ve been reflecting a lot on it when it comes to nourishment and healing. Danish writer, Meik Wiking, describes it poetically as:
“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience. It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. It has been called ‘the art of creating intimacy’, ‘cosiness of the soul’ to ‘taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things’”.
It feels good when we create a feeling of cosiness and intimacy with food. The world seems kinder and softer. There’s something special about lighting some candles, placing a cut flower from the garden (or park if you’re in an apartment), setting the table, turning off phones, laptops and TVs and sharing a meal. Wellness extends beyond the plate, and creating a relaxed atmosphere is a wonderful practice (and a great way to digest food better too!).
I hope these tips help you feel inspired to make a few shifts to help create more nourishing routines!
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